Intelligence is being exploited more now

A former War Office/Intelligence colleague wrote to Ralph with more behind-the-scenes gossip after the complete reorganisation of British Intelligence.

February 11
War Office

My dear Glyn

Just got your letter dated 2nd Jan, but I think you wrote it 2nd Feb probably! Sorry I missed you in my travels to the Near East with Lord K. They told me you had been “chased away” from Medforce! Your “position finder” system has been used to great advantage not only for fixed WT Stds, but for other “floating aerial bodies”. You will I am sure be glad to hear it has been of such use – only keep to yourself the fact that it has been so useful. Gen Callwell arrived back February 7th from Russia & is now in France – probably going back to Russia in a week or two, he was as you say the most charming of chiefs to serve under, & I miss him very much. He & Wyman were both decorated with “Stanislav’s [instant?] swords” – there is now a real liaison business between the CIGS and Chantilly – Sidney Clive and [Birthie?] de Sauvigny go backwards & forwards every 10 days & there is always one of them here & one at Chantilly working with us so that we each know now what the other is doing. It works well.

Gillman came in to see me today. You would hardly know your way about here now – there have been so many changes. MI2C is very much changed and is a very busy spot with even a lady clerk as assistant to Mr Baker. Cox from GHQ is the 2nd Grade [illegible]. [Fryam?] – Joyce (from British [Arucan?]) – Crichton who was in your regiment – and a youth coming over from France to join the subsection. We have shipped old man Perry off to Salonica. I could not do with his squeaky boots any longer and we thought he would like a change! He is delighted to go. Then I have a section now on the 2nd floor under Steel – which includes Persia, Afghanistan, India, Senussi etc – and the Balkans live in the room next to Thorp & are under him.

Amery is really the head of the Balkan sub-section and Skeff-Smyth works with Steel. It is of course good for the Germans to know that we are going to march up to Vienna through the Balkans! You forgot this in criticizing the “ops” – ! I am having “German forces in the field” sent to Tyrrell & a “Boche” order of battle. Colin Mackenzie has just left here to take charge of a Division again & Bird is DSO. Maurice as you know is DMO & Macdonogh DMC. We still have lots of work but the intelligence part of the show is I hope being exploited a little more than before. Best of luck & kindest regards from my wife.

Yrs ever
Bazil Brierly

Letter from Bazil Brierly to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C32/6)

‘It is this terrible “drift, drift, drift” which is so depressing’

Another fellow officer writes to Ralph Glyn to express his frustration. It may be General Frederick Stanley Maude.

My dear Glyn

Many thanks for your letter. I wrote to thank you for the vegetables, the which arrived all right, but possibly the letter like many of them has got lost.

You will have heard by now that the Division to go to Salonica was altered here & that, instead of our going, the 10th have gone. H[ildyard?] told me the change had been made but not the reason…
Still these little things will happen & I should be quite happy if I felt that we were going to do something here. It is this terrible “drift, drift, drift” which is so depressing, & one feels so un-English to be hung up for months here by a handful of Turks less numerous than we are. I wonder what the Peninsula warriors would think of us if they knew the situation!

A good deal of sickness which does not seem to improve morale. Personally was never fitter in my life, but Cooke & 2 ADMS have gone sick, & several others are dicky.

Gillman has become Bg RA 9th Corps & Hildyard moves up.

Weather seems to be breaking & we are getting some rain & wind, but the flies are still with us, though not so numerous….

Yrs sincerely
[F S] Maude

Letter to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C31/30)